Technical editors are worth their weight in gold
Before we go into the list, here is what technical editors do:
In a nutshell, they make sure you’re consistent in your writing, they find errors in stitch counts and sizing, they check your spelling and grammar, and can suggest ways to make patterns flow better. It’s a super power.
1. As a writer, you can never see your own mistakes (it doesn’t matter how good you are at writing).
Technical editors are the equivalent of writing editors for journalists or authors. A book author would never publish a book without getting it edited, and neither should a pattern designer -- it doesn’t matter if you have a degree in English and spend your free time finding errors in the New York Times… you just aren’t going to see errors in your own writing.
2. They protect your brand reputation
I get it, technical editing costs money -- I’ve often heard the question “Why would I want to spend money if I don’t even know if my pattern will sell?”
My response -- you are running a BUSINESS and the quality of your patterns is key to your BRAND REPUTATION. I don’t care if you have the most beautiful photos in the world selling your patterns, if your actual pattern is written like shit and frustrates the hell out of your customers, you may get people to buy from you once, but they will likely never buy from you again... that is bad for business.
If you are automatically assuming a pattern won’t sell, so you won’t invest in it, frankly it probably isn’t a good pattern to publish.
3. They make you look like a “professional”
Technical editors, especially if you’ve worked with the same one for a while, get a feel for your writing style and voice. They make sure your patterns are consistent with previous ones you’ve published in the past (they ensure you use the same abbreviations, punctuation, and they even notice if your color scheme is off on occasion!).
4. Your test knit process runs more smoothly
First of all, let me ask…. You’re test knitting your patterns, right? You should be -- even if it means you have to delay your pattern publication for a few extra weeks (more on this later.
Test knits are WAY easier if you have your pattern edited before hand -- testers will then be able to simply breeze through knitting up your pattern rather than trying to wrap their head around how you did something because your stitch counts are accidentally off or your chart is missing a symbol… it’s frustrating for everyone.
5. Reduces your customer service complaints
Knitters are amazing people, but I’ve noticed they often are so excited to knit that they skip over key notes and parts of the pattern -- resulting in quite a few customer inquiries. A well written pattern that predicts the areas that knitters will have trouble with takes extra time, but will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend trying to help a knitter out via DM or e-mail. I want my patterns to be as knittable as possible so I don’t have to spend time on customer complaints -- plus a happy knitter is a knitter that will purchase your pattern again!
6. You’ll learn something new every time!
Tech editors know the ins and outs of knitting like I never will. Take for example, did you know that with a provisional cast-on you always lose a stitch? (Don’t believe me — TECHKnitting has a great blog post here!). I’m always learning new things from my tech editors!
TLDR: Technical editing costs money… but in the long run you’ll save significant time and $$$!
I’ve worked with the following technical editors in the past and have had wonderful results with each and every one of them! They are the reason I have not only beautiful but also KNITTABLE patterns, and I am beyond grateful for their expertise! Please reach out if you would like recommendations